Thursday, 13 December 2007


Here are a couple of reviews i got in this month's Stool Pigeon, it's one of the best sources for alternative music they're always covering stuff that bounces and hopefully some b-line in the next edition. BOOM

DJ ZINC/SKREAM/HIGH CONTRAST: Tuesday club, Sheffield, 30/11/07

“DJ ZINC IS A BASTARD!” One ironic reveller spat down my ear while flexing his first two fingers at the decks. You could see his point as Zinc conjured a rare ‘freestyle’ set moving through, dancehall, bashment, 2-step, grime, dubstep and straight up bassline without morals or fidelity. The set left no sub genre unpilfered and no ear drum unruptured turning the room into a maelstrom of pulsating torsos and hoisted index fingers.

Skream seemed to simply emanate from the ether as he appeared behind the decks, sporting a lopsided grin that didn’t once leave his face. Skream’s prolific nature is well known and he ciphered through easily the deepest and best back catalogue in dubstep. His respect and knowledge of the genre that he has pushed to a new level was blatant, as he mixed squashed up bassline driven bangers, through to more refined dub influenced tracks. Tuesday club had that old-rave feel: dark, sweaty and with an atmosphere built up by pressure from the Dj and the mcing of Tonn Piper, who stood over the crowd like a modern day Mephistopheles. The crawling bounce and bass of Skream kept the room hopping and skanking between their tip toes waiting for the bass to expand and blow up – and it did, time after punishing time.

After the tension of Skream and the almost slow motion dance moves and gestures that dubstep brings, the threat of drum and bass rattled through the crowd as High Contrast emerged. Lincoln Barrett with his elegant, hedonistic production is the freshest thing in drum and bass, and being on a label like Hospital that isn’t easy. His djing is as renowned as his production, ever since he put on his monthly nights in Cardiff at Moloko bar. Since then he’s tightened and cut creating sets that bring as many smiles as rinsed out screw faces. This set was just as eclectic starting off with whiplash inducing violence and holding the crowd by the throat for the first part of his unremitting set. But when he played his own classics such as ‘Racing Green’, ‘If We Ever’ and ‘Twilight’s Last Gleaming’ the smiles came and the energy usually reserved for bassline bangers and high rollers was injected into the crowd. The cups of water from the bar were snatched by ravers like marathon runners desperate to quench a never ending thirst. As they returned to the dancefloor High Contrast brought in the next track that sent arms, knees and endorphins in impossible directions.

After the final snare drum reverberated around Tuesday club, the crowd was still buzzing from what they’d seen – like kids around a smouldering wheelie bin in Barnsley.

Vitalic: Sheffield, The Plug 13/10/2007

The concept of live dance music is a hard one for some people to understand. Images of live PA’s or two blokes stood behind laptops spring to mind and ruin your day.

However, Vitalic the enigmatic French producer is a different prospect. One table full of wires and paraphernalia dominates the stage at Plug and as the crowd is warmed up by the DJ opposite, Vitalic quietly makes his way onto the stage.

With a set up that looks like it should belong to an avant-garde ‘noise’ group; not the producer of some of the most memorable and distinctive tracks in techno, no one was sure what to expect.

But as soon as the crunching, tense, bass-laden kick drum of ‘My Friend Dario’ starts it feels like the train has departed and it’s far too late to get off. Unremitting beats and tight, terse mixing builds the tension further. This is what techno sounds like in its purest form: no samples and minimal vocals.

The crowd was a mix of techno-heads, indie kids and curious parties, all drawn in by what they saw on the stage. You could see people standing at the edges of the dancefloor slowly getting into it. First the head would nod, a rye grin would appear then after a breakdown uncontrollable dancing. It spread, as Vitalic’s back catalogue was ripped through: Poney Part 1, Repair Machines and an epic 10 minute reworking of La Rock 01 had some of the crowd on their knees.

Sceptics of ‘live’ dance music always talk about the lack of energy that only a live band can create. Well they can ask anyone of the crowd who saw Vitalic if the gig lacked energy and they’d get the same response: What do you think?

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